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Mexican Threats and Texan Military

impositions practiced upon the friends of Texas abroad, reflected disgrace on the country and service, which they pretend to represent," declared Acting Secretary of War Fisher, it became his duty to declare as "imposters" all such persons without proper authorization.[71] 

Colonel Seguin was once more at San Antonio in command of eighty regular troops, largely Anglo-American, and some two hundred "Mexican citizen volunteers" under good subordination.[72]  "Deaf" Smith, one of the best Texan scouts, left the capital at Columbia on December 8 hurriedly for Béxar, to investigate the report of a sizable Mexican army advancing towards the Texas frontier.[73]  "Let every man . . . perform his duty," declared the editor of the Telegraph, and "we shall avoid the necessity of again running away from a poor miscreant band of hirelings. . . . Are there not," he asked, "freemen enough in Texas, to rise and at once crush the abject race, whom, like the musquetoe, it is easier to kill, than endure its annoying buzz?"[74] 

By a joint resolution of Congress, approved December 22, 1836, the President was authorized to receive into the army any number of volunteers up to 40,000, to meet the new invasion threat from Mexico.[75]  The authorization was more braggadocio than realism for a young country whose total white population probably did not exceed that figure. Obviously, the principal source of supply was expected to be volunteers from the United States. Already a letter from General Huston intended to encourage volunteers to enter Texas from the United States had found its way into the New Orleans newspapers and into the Mobile Commercial Register. Huston expressed the opinion that the war with Mexico was not yet over. "The war," he wrote, "must be terminated beyond the Río Grande."[76]  To lend encouragement to those who might wish to volunteer, the editor of the Telegraph[77]  gave a glowing report of the Texan army which be described as well clothed and provisioned, and in high spirits, ready to meet the enemy should he dare to enter the country. Albert Sidney Johnston departed Texas around the middle of November for New Orleans to make arrangements for the forwarding of volunteers to the Republic. The disap-

71. General Orders, War Department, Columbia, Dec. 19th, 1836 [signed by:] William S. Fisher, Acting Secretary of War, in ibid., Dec. 27, 1836.

72. Telegraph and Texas Register, Dec. 17, 1836.

73. Ibid., Dec. 9, 1836.

74. Ibid., Dec. 27, 1836.

75. H. P. N. Gammel (ed.), Laws of Texas, I, 1285.

76. Telegraph and Texas Register, Nov. 12, 1836.

77. Ibid., Dec. 9, 1836.

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AFTER SAN JACINTO: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841
Joseph Milton Nance, 1963